Earnings

Twitter misses earnings expectations across the board, authorizes $4 billion in share buybacks

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A person in a mask walks by the New York Twitter offices after they announced they will close their re-opened offices effective immediately in response to updated CDC guidelines during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., July 29, 2021.
Andrew Kelly | Reuters

Twitter reported earnings for the fourth quarter of 2021 Thursday that missed analyst estimates on earnings, revenue and user growth.

Shares popped more than 4% during premarket trading.

Here are the key numbers:

  • Earnings per share: 33 cents, adjusted vs 35 cents expected, according to a Refinitiv survey of analysts
  • Revenue: $1.57 billion vs $1.58 billion expected, according to Refinitv
  • Monetizable Daily Active Users (mDAUs): 217 million vs 218.6 million expected, according to StreetAccount

The company provided revenue guidance for the next quarter ranging from $1.17 billion to $1.27 billion, while analysts had expected about $1.26 billion, according to Refinitv.

Twitter also announced a new $4 billion share buyback program. Half of that will be an accelerated share repurchase with the remaining being repurchased over time, the company said.

Despite the miss in user growth numbers, CFO Ned Segal said in a statement in the earnings release that its previously stated goals of reaching 315 million mDAUs in Q4 2023 and at least $7.5 billion in revenue in 2023 remained the same.

The report is the first under new CEO Parag Agrawal after Jack Dorsey stepped down from the role in November. Agrawal, who previously served as chief technology officer, had been a key player in the company’s efforts to create a decentralized protocol for social media through Project Bluesky.

Agrawal has inherited Dorsey’s aggressive internal goals, including to grow Twitter to 315 million monetizable daily active users by the end of 2023.

Twitter’s report follows those from Facebook-owner Meta and Snap, which both reported some macroeconomic challenges like supply chain disruptions weighing on advertiser budgets.

But they reported different degrees of impact of Apple’s privacy update on iOS that makes it harder to narrowly target ads on iPhones. While Meta said it expected to take a $10 billion revenue hit as a result of the changes, Snap said its direct response advertising business was recovering more quickly than expected.

Twitter said last quarter that the Apple changes had less of an impact in the period than expected, and that the impact should be modest in the fourth quarter.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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